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ARTS (MARCH 2017): Blue whale exhibit opens at the Royal Ontario Museum

March 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Bloor Street’s cultural organizations starting to celebrate Canada 150

PHOTO COURTESY THE GARDINER MUSEUM: Drawing from memory and using a unique visual language of hybrid animal creatures, Janet Macpherson presents her very personal view of the nation in Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary at the Gardiner Museum. Its features four immersive installations are connected by overlapping themes and questions tracing identity and history, nature and the consequences of human actions, and the idea of the North. Showing until May 22.

By Heather Kelly

The Annex neighbourhood is so full of art and culture organizations that, for March Break, we don’t have to go far to find fun and creative activities. The Bata Shoe Museum will host “shoetastic shenanigans” during March Break, where kids can make shoe crafts, walk the runway in fun footwear, play games, and go on a “heel hunt”. The Bata Shoe Museum also offers hands-on demonstrations at the All About Shoes exhibition on Saturday afternoons, and crafts and try-on shoes every weekend.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents Big Blue March Break based on the new exhibition Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. This exhibit, opening March 11, showcases one of the largest, most complete blue whale skeletons ever discovered. Blue whale themed family activities include Swimming with Giants, a virtual reality experience, and stories by ROM experts who tell the secrets of whales.

The Gardiner Museum will run its popular March Break Kids Clay Camps where people aged 7 to 16 can unplug and get their hands dirty. Every Sunday in March the Gardiner offers Family Sunday activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Miles Nadal JCC also has a March Break camp for children aged 5 to 10 with drama, arts, cooking, and other activities. The Royal Conservatory School offers an Instrument Exploration Camp for ages 7 and 8, a camp called Songs of the Sea and Sky for ages 8 to 10, and Music Camp en Français for ages 5 to 7 presented in partnership with Alliance Française.

For those of us without little tykes to keep entertained, there are hundreds of options for adults to enjoy. Arts organizations across the Bloor St. Culture Corridor are starting to roll out events for Canada 150, Canada’s sesquicentenary.

The special exhibition Janet Macpherson: A Canadian Bestiary, on now at the Gardiner Museum, addresses Canadian identity and history, nature, and the North. The Talisker Players mark Canada’s sesquicentennial with Land of the Silver Birch, based on settlers’ folk songs, March 28 and 29 at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre. The Museum of Estonians Abroad hosts the exhibition Sharing Our Stories: The Baltic Diaspora at Home in Canada, opening March 4. Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra presents The Baroque Diva, Karina Gauvin performing Handel, Vivaldi, and a world premiere by Canadian composer Colin Labadie, commissioned for Canada 150, at Koerner Hall from March 23 to 26.

We will see more Canada 150 events in the coming months.

Photography exhibitions are opening at local culture organizations. Alliance Française presents Photographic Memories of Lost Spaces by Marilyn Stafford, March 8 to April 1.

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents Ritual by documentary photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo until March 16, and Palimpsests and Interfaces: Architecture by Renato Rizzi and Cino Zucchi opening March 28. The Miles Nadal JCC presents Among Israelis: Some Captured Moments, on view March 2-29. The Japan Foundation hosts the exhibition National Treasures at Todaiji Temple by Miro Ito, opening March 15.

For film lovers, Apples from the Desert will screen at the Miles Nadal JCC twice on March 26, and The Canadian Improv Games from March 28 to April 1. The Bata Shoe Museum’s Arctic Film Series continues with 7 SÁMI STORIES. The Museum of Estonians Abroad presents Tangerines at Alliance Française on March 10.

There’s no shortage of concerts, too. The Royal Conservatory of Music presents violinist Alina Ibragimova with pianist Cédric Tiberghien on March 31 at Koerner Hall. Alliance Française presents NAISA performing works by the Marocouleurs on March 18. The University of Toronto Faculty of Music presents The Gryphon Trio on March 27, and during ROM Winter Fridays visitors can enjoy live music in the galleries on Friday evenings until March 17.

Heather Kelly is the founder and director of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, one of the city’s leading cultural districts. All of these arts and culture events are part of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, a collaboration of 19 arts and culture organizations located on Bloor St. West.



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